Tenancy By The Entirety States and Community Property States

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Tenancy By The Entirety States and Community Property States

The definition of Tenancy by the Entirety (abbreviated T by E) is as follows: A type of ownership where a husband and wife each owns an undivided interest in the property. Another trait is Right of Survivorship, meaning that when one spouse dies, the other is entitled to receive the share of the one who died.

Tenancy by the Entirety ownership lets spouses own property together as a legal unit. The creditors of an individual spouse are not allowed to seize and sell the interest of the debtor spouse. Only creditors who have judgments against both the husband and the wife may attach and sell property held in this manner.

The definition of a Community Property State is a state in which the law considers that property acquired by a married couple during their marriage is joint property. This is the case even if it was acquired in the name of only one of the spouses. A civil judgment against one spouse can be enforced by seizing the assets of the debtor as well as the assets of the other spouse and those held jointly by both spouses.

The concept is that the husband and wife each obtain a one-half interest what is called community property. When the asset was obtained is one determining factor. Community property is typically considered to be the assets that couple owns and that were obtained while married. An exception might be separate property owned by either spouse individually. Separate property includes the assets that each individual brings into the marriage or that either spouse inherits during the marriage.

States that have adopted such statutes that utilize a community property method of dividing resources were patterned after Spain and France, each of which are influenced by Napoleonic Code.

The following is a table of the Tenancy by the Entirety States and how each relates to real and personal property. The table also specifies the Community Property States.

StatesTenancyiby
theiEntirety 
Real
Property
Personal  Property Community
Property State
AlabamaNo
AlaskaYesYes
ArizonaNoYes
ArkansasYesYes
CaliforniaNo
ColoradoNo
ConnecticutNo
DelawareYesYesYes 
District of ColumbiaYesYesYes 
FloridaYesYes
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYesYes
IdahoNoYes
IllinoisYesYes
IndianaYesYes
IowaNo
KansasNo
KentuckyYesYes
LouisianaNoYes
MaineNo
MarylandYesYesYes 
MassachusettsYesYesYes 
MichiganYesYes
MinnesotaNo
MississippiYesYesYes 
MissouriYesYes
MontanaNo
NebraskaNo
NevadaNoYes
New HampshireNo
New JerseyYesYes
New MexicoNoYes
New YorkYesYes
North CarolinaYesYes
North DakotaNo
OhioNo
OklahomaYesYesYes 
OregonYesYesNo 
PennsylvaniaYesYesYes 
Rhode IslandYesYes
South CarolinaNo
South DakotaNo
TennesseeYesYesYes 
TexasNo Yes
UtahNo
VermontYesYesYes 
VirginiaYesYesYes 
WashingtonNo Yes
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinNoYes
WyomingYesYes

 

The information here was believed to be accurate at the time it was published but no warranties or guarantees are given about the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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